China's Jews

It’s too late for me to look up the reference, but I’ll give it to you the way I remember it.

In the run-up to WWII, some uppity-up in Japan’s Imperial Government got word from the ambassador in Berlin about how Hitler was scapegoating the Jews for, well, damn near everyandanything. His comment: “If only Japan had Jews!”

That came to mind reading about the recent protests in China:

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing refused Sunday to apologize or pay compensation to Japan for violent anti-Japanese demonstrations in which demonstrators smashed windows of Japanese diplomatic and business establishments in China.

How do you say Kristallnacht in Chinese?

Granted, the Kristallnacht reference is hyperbole; Beijing isn’t about to round up the local Japanese and corral them into concentration camps. But the tune still sounds eerily familiar.

Germany had Jews, who it was claimed, secretly controlled money and production. In today’s China, the Japanese play a similar role. German Jews somehow stabbed Berlin in the back, and caused them to lose WWI. China blames Japan for not completely owning up to atrocities committed in another war. Hitler wanted Poland for historical reasons, and as a springboard to greater conquests in the East. China covets Taiwan for historical reasons, and perhaps as a springboard to greater conquests in the South.

I don’t mean to imply that China is about to get the world into another global conflict. But Beijing seems to have at least – or at last? – found its Jews.